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Author: Justin Mckibben
Part of being a parent is wondering what trouble your kids might get into. This is especially true as children become more independent as teens and young adults. Parents worry about how their kids are doing in school, if they are surrounding themselves with good influences and of course, if they’re doing drugs. It seems like there has never been a more appropriate time to be concerned about teenage substance abuse. Parents today are witness to the devastation and despair caused by the opioid epidemic. While teen drug use has always been an issue, it is more frightening than previous years with overdose deaths at such an alarming rate. What are the signs? How serious is teen drug abuse? Is your adolescent addicted to drugs?
Is My Teenager Addicted to Drugs: Teen Drug Abuse Stats
It is not that shocking that teen drug abuse is such a concern for parents. Substance use disorder currently affects more than 20 million people in the United States.
In 2015, more than 33,000 people in the United States died from accidental overdose. According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future College Students and Adults survey, young adults from 18-25 are the biggest abusers of:
The survey also shows young adults use prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons more than any other age group. One report showed that nearly 44% of high school students admit to knowing a classmate who sells drugs. When ask what kind of drugs, students stated:
- 91%- Marijuana
- 24%- Prescription drugs
- 9%- Cocaine
- 7%- Ecstasy
Experts from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) state that while illicit substance abuse has shown some decline, prescription drug abuse has done more than enough to fill the void.
Is My Teenager Addicted to Drugs: Those at Risk
If there is one thing we have learned without question from the opioid epidemic, it is that the old archaic mentality that substance use disorders were only experienced by people living troubled lives is anything but true.
Anyone and everyone are at risk. No race, nationality, social or economic background can exempt someone from the potential for addiction, even teenagers. It doesn’t matter if you grow up in a small town, a suburb or a bad part of town. It doesn’t matter if you are homeless or if you inherit a fortune, you still are eligible for addiction.
In a way, that reality makes the prospect of your teenager getting mixed up in drugs more frightening, because the old mentality of “don’t hang out with the wrong crowd” doesn’t really apply anymore. Any crowd and every crowd can get mixed up in this.
Truthfully, teens are exposed to substances in so many ways, but there are also a lot of ways to spot use and try to address it as early as possible.
Is My Teenager Addicted to Drugs: Warning Signs
Knowing the warning signs of addiction can save lives, and ensuring it is addressed through every possible channel is key—even at a yearly doctor’s appointment. Many doctors are being trained to identify the signs of early drug abuse and ask questions about substance use disorders. When you are still wondering- is my teenager addicted to drugs- then you can try to look at signs such as:
- Mood swings
- Changes in grades
- Lack of interest in activities
- Trouble at school or work
- Changes in friends
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms, including shaking, seizures, personality changes
- Hiding drug use
- Using substances in private
According to mental health experts, some of these symptoms can also be signs of a mental health disorder. The best course of action when a parent begins to detect some of these signs would be to have a conversation with their teenager. Having a dialog can create opportunities for education, prevention and intervention.
Is My Teenager Addicted to Drugs: Helping VS Hurting
If your teenager is struggling with a substance use disorder there are a number of things you can do to help. There are also some things that parents institutionally do that can ultimately be harmful. Family members are always used to playing different roles, and often times parents want to be as supportive as possible. The important distinction family members all need to learn is the difference between helping and hurting.
As parents people typically lean toward one side or the other. They either want to be protective and enabling, or they chose to use ‘tough love’ to try and force their family members to get clean.
To learn more about how to handle the difficult emotions and situations parents and family members face with an addicted loved one, download our FREE e-book
“What is the Difference Between Helping and Hurting”
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It is important to be compassionate and supportive. It is also important to set boundaries with your addicted teenager. Understanding the self-destructive behaviors of individuals who struggle with addiction will help you to avoid enabling those risk patterns. This knowledge also helps parents and families members to be more constructive and caring when it really matters.
Addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is drinking or drugging, it affects all those that are close to that person. Emotionally, physically, financially, the toll can be significant. The Family Program at Palm Partners is designed to help parents, significant others and family members of addicts. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now!
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The disease of Alcoholism/Addiction is one that is cunning, baffling and powerful. It is frequently described as the only allergy that deliberately tricks you into thinking you don’t have it, and causes you to crave more of the substance that is hurting you. In the end it is not up to anyone to diagnose you as a “Real Deal” alcoholic/addict (according to 12 Step fellowships) except you. There are ways you can diagnose yourself. These are, in my own experience, a few ways to see if you can identify yourself as the “Real Deal”.
- Do You Crave The Substance
One obvious effect of excessive drug use and/or drinking is the physical withdrawal, but the craving acquired in the “Real Deal” is a different type of abnormality. It is a crippling that occurs when a “Real Deal” takes the first drink or drug, and has no control over the obsession to use or drink more, and have no control over how much they take in. If 9 out of 10 people have a certain reaction to something and 1 out of 10 people have a different reaction, then the reaction of the 1 out of 10 is defined as abnormal. The effect of using alcohol or drugs on a “Real Deal” is a manifestation of the allergy described. It is explained in 12 Step literatures that the phenomenon of craving is exclusive to this class and NEVER occurs in the average drinker/drug user, and that these allergic types who develop the craving can NEVER safely use any form of drugs or alcohol.
- Do You Find Life Unmanageable (With or Without The Substance)
The first part of a program of action includes identifying the issues created in your life by your condition as an alcoholic and/or addict. One clear symptom of a “Real Deal” can be how nearly every aspect of life seems intolerable or incomplete, with or without the drink or drug. In my experience in recovery if I cannot accept the people and circumstances of my life as they are, and I cannot find any peace or happiness in life, I am living in the sickness and not in the solution. It won’t even matter how drunk or high I get, I can find no peace or freedom in my life and I try drinking and using to block out the pain of my unmanageability.
- Do You Take Serious Risks For The Substance
There have been plenty of times in my personal experience where consequences related to my health, both mental and physical, were presented to me due to my using and drinking. I have been a breath away from death, lost all sorts of sanity, and hurt a lot of loved ones with my active alcoholism/addiction. A “Real Deal” can be presented with situations that put their health, family, security, and sanity at risk if they do not stop drinking and/or using drugs and still they do not stop. Even when they want to stop for a sufficient reason, they cannot. They will use/drink themselves back into hospitals, out of homes, jobs, and relationships, or even to death.
- You Cannot Give It Up On Your Own
“Real Deal” alcoholics and addicts are typically incapable of doing this at all. Any time you find yourself unable to stay abstinent from a substance, it is a pretty good indication you are in the grips of a serious illness. Moderate or even hard drinkers/drug users can still stop when they want to or need to. They can remain clean for extended periods of time without using drugs or drinking and are able to cope with life, and maybe moderate again safely. The “Real Deal” cannot do this. It is suggested in most 12 Step Programs if you truly want to test yourself, try to remain abstinent for up to 1 year. It will become very clear in short enough time, and if this is not possible for you it’s probably safe to assume you are a “Real Deal” and it will take a lot of work, and some outside influence to protect you from the allergy of alcoholism/addiction.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Mother doesn’t always know best, especially if she is among the growing number of elderly, between the ages of 57 and 85, who is abusing drugs.
Let’s face it, when you think of drug addiction, you don’t think of the elderly but, the fact is, one quarter of prescription drugs sold in the U.S. are used by the elderly, often for problems such as chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. And the medications that are typically prescribed for such conditions – narcotic pain killers, sleeping pills and tranquillizers – are common medications of abuse.
Statistics of Elderly Drug Addiction
Approximately 80% of all senior citizens have at least one chronic health condition, and 50% have at least two chronic health conditions. Nine out of every ten senior citizens (between the ages of 57 to 85) use a combination of OTC medication, dietary supplements, and prescription drugs. About three in ten seniors use at least five prescriptions on a daily basis. Between 1997 and 2008, the rate of hospital admissions among the elderly for medication- and illicit drug- related conditions grew by 96% and, for people 85 and older, that number grew by 87%.
Findings show that, as people continue to age, they are more likely to use more prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter (OTC) medications than their younger counterparts. Elderly drug addiction can bring about several harmful and tragic consequences such as drug-induced delirium and dementia and elderly patients should undergo testing to see if their memory loss or mental confusion is due to medication rather than the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Elderly drug abuse can also mimic other problems that are typically common in older adults.
These findings clearly show that there is a relationship between substance abuse and mental illness and further validate the growing need to address the prevention of prescription misuse and abuse among the elderly population.
Why the Elderly
There are physical, psychological and social factors that lead to elderly drug addiction. The elderly may become dependent on drugs that were prescribed to deal with joint pain and arthritis, sleeping problems or injuries from falls. The elderly also tend to lose loved ones at a higher and faster rate and so dealing with grief and sadness, which can increase drug dependence. Another factor: being far from loved ones and family may also increase the risk of elderly drug abuse because they are lonely or bored. Also, keep in mind, addiction can affects anyone so age doesn’t matter. In fact, studies show that 15% of the population has an inclination toward addiction; the elderly have that same inclination.
Signs of Elderly Drug Addiction
The main sign that an elderly person might be addicted to a medication is if they are constantly thinking about it and worrying that they will not be able to function without it. Another common warning sign of elderly drug addiction is when they start taking their medication at different times and at different doses from what was prescribed to them.
Other Signs of Elderly Drug Addiction
- If they used to take 1 or 2 pills a day, and now they are taking 4 or 6 a day
- Their behavior or mood has changed; they are argumentative, withdrawn, and anxious
- They give excuses as to why they need the pills and get defensive when confronted
- They always have an emergency supply in their purse or pocket, just in case
- Have they ever been treated by a physician or hospital for excessive use of pills?
- They change/go to multiple doctors and/or pharmacies;
- They sneak or hide prescription pills
Elderly drug addiction is not something that should be overlooked or underestimated. Most of us when we think of drug abuse don’t usually think of our parents or grandparents but they can suffer too and if that is the case they also can benefit from the help provided by a drug abuse treatment center.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
For many people it can be hard to recognize when they have crossed the over the line from moderate drinking into alcohol addiction. There are several different signs of alcohol addiction that are caused due to a drinking problem. It is common for an alcoholic to deny their drinking habits and want to lie about them. People with an alcohol addiction most likely prefer to only drink by themselves and not let anyone know about their drinking problem. If you spot any of these signs of alcohol addiction in yourself or in a loved one chances are you have an alcohol addiction.
Here are the 5 signs of alcohol addiction:
1. Neglecting Responsibilities: One of the major signs of alcohol addiction is when the drinker begins neglecting their responsibilities. These responsibilities can be at work, home or school. It is common for the person with the alcohol addiction to start to perform in these responsibilities very poorly or not at all. They will often neglect the people in their lives and not give them the attention that they need, for example a parent with their children will ignore their kids. Sometimes when the alcohol addiction has become very severe they will start breaking promises and commitments that they made due to being hung over or drunk.
2. Repeated legal problems: Legal problems can be one of the many signs of alcohol addiction. This can be a result of the drinker driving while under the influence or when they are drunk they begin to act disorderly. Someone with an alcohol addiction may start to get in serious legal and DMB trouble due to driving drunk. Alcohol addiction can cause the person to think they are tougher than they actually are and this can cause them to make decisions that they wouldn’t typically make when they are drunk.
3. Drinking to cope: When a person drinks to relax, de-stress, and/or soothe themselves it could be due to an alcohol addiction. This is very common of alcoholics. An alcoholic or someone with an alcohol addiction will want to come home after a very stressful day and have a few drinks to get everything off their mind. They may also want to drink after an argument with a loved one. Someone with an alcohol addiction will find that alcohol will relax them and make the problem they are having, drift away temporary.
4. Depression: Depression is one of the more serious signs of an alcohol addiction. While depression could be a result of other psychological disorders, depression can also because due to being addicted to alcohol. On top of being of being depressed, a person with an alcohol addiction may also become very angry and irritable. Someone with an alcohol addiction may have trouble sleeping as well as major anxiety issues. In some severe cases of an alcohol addiction the drinker can end up experiencing hallucinations and withdrawal symptoms.
5. Relationship problems: Relationship problems are one of the signs of alcohol addiction that can be affecting more than just the drinker. Often the person in a relationship with someone who has an alcohol addiction will become very angry. The person with the alcohol addiction may become violent or start to mentally abuse their spouse and children while they are intoxicated. While they are drunk they may not know how bad they are actually hurting the people who are close to them. Someone with an alcohol addiction may be very sorry when they are sober too. This can cause a lot of pain, hate, resentment and distrust between the drinker and their loved ones.
Another one of the signs of an alcohol addiction that wasn’t mentioned above is withdrawal symptoms when the drinker stops drinking for even a short period of time. If someone you know or you yourself are experiencing any of the above due to drinking then chances are you or your loved one has an alcohol addiction.
If you or your loved one is in need of alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
My mom used to say she could tell I was on drugs just from a mere “gut feeling”. I mean, she was my mom so this isn’t surprising. For most people their mothers know them better than anyone else. It was really cool when I got sober she also said she had a “gut feeling” that I was finally better-recovered if you will.
While my mom had a “gut feeling” about me being on drugs, there were also clear signs that pointed it out to her. And for everyone who isn’t a mother or for those who may not have a “gut feeling”, don’t worry; you can tell if someone is on drugs based on tangible signs.
If you can tell if someone is on drugs, if I can suggest something, try to get them help. I know this was done for me and it changed my life.
How can you tell if someone is on drugs?
Drug addicts try to hide the fact that they are on drugs and no matter how hard they try to do so, if you know what to look for you will always be able to tell if someone is on drugs. Depending on what drugs they are on the signs or ways to tell if someone is on drugs change a little bit but basically there are some general ways of knowing. But we are going to go over different substance briefly to give you an idea of how to tell if someone is on drugs.
Alcohol is a drug and is addictive in the same ways as illicit drugs. If you are trying to tell if someone is on alcohol you should be able to tell from the smell of alcohol on their breath but there are other signs. Sweating a lot is one of the major signs of alcohol use. Vomiting and slurred speech are others. Further ways to tell if someone is on alcohol is excessive thirst in the morning and having a difficult time waking up or functioning in the mornings.
How you can tell if someone is on cocaine is a bit easier than other drugs. Signs that someone is on cocaine include dilated pupils and the inability sleep or weird sleep patterns in general. Many cocaine users will become hyperactive, alert, start talking rapidly; have runny or bloody noses and even paranoia. Other ways to tell are finding small vials, mirrors, rolled up dollar bills, or even small mirrors and razor blades.
Ecstasy or MDMA:
The way to tell if someone is on ecstasy is to pay attention to their behavior. The users of ecstasy often are very thirsty and friendly while high. After using they tend to be agitated and irritable. You may also notice them clenching their jaw a lot.
The way to tell if someone is on heroin is to pay attention to the eyes. Someone who is on heroin or opiates in general will have pin point pupils (very small), they will have dry mouth and be very tired all the time. They have difficulty moving and may fall asleep sitting up, standing up, or pretty much anywhere-this is known as nodding off.
The way to tell if someone is on marijuana is also to pay attention to the eyes. Often times someone who is on marijuana will have red eyes and smile or laugh a lot. You may find rolling papers or pipes. Someone who is on marijuana will often sleep and eat a lot (snack foods).
The way to tell if someone is on methamphetamine is easy. They will have very strange sleeping patterns. They will be up for days and then sleep for days. Weight loss, loss of appetite, anxiety, rapid or excessive talking and dilated pupils are signs of methamphetamine use.
So now that we have overwhelmed you with all of these ways to tell if someone is on drugs let us just say this. The general way of telling if someone is on drugs is this:
Their behavior is different and almost a 180 from what they are normally. And their eyes will look different. If you are really unsure look at their sleep patterns too. It doesn’t matter what drugs the individual is on these three things will usually change if someone is on drugs especially their behavior. If you are close to the person who is on drugs you will know and be able to tell if they are on drugs. Don’t doubt yourself. Usually if you have a “gut feeling” like my mom did back in the day, it is right. Just follow that gut feeling and begin looking for other signs of drug use-usually it will make itself apparent to you and you will be able to tell if someone is on drugs.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.